Friday, July 13, 2012
"Temptation" by Karen Ann Hopkins
NOTE: I received this book to review from Netgalley.
As usual, I'll start off with my thoughts on the writing and the story as a whole, then proceed to talk about the characters themselves.
The writing style was nice, though there were places where it felt kind of stiff and chopped. The story flowed fluidly, and was deeply moving and captivating. I could easily step into the story along the characters and walk in their world, i.e. it was realistic and could hardly be put down.
I also loved the deep level of research that the author has made in order to give us readers a sense of reality in this unknown to us world - the world of the Amish communities. Not even for a minute did I forget that we were in an Amish community. The strict rules and laws, the buggies and old fashioned clothes, the outdated mannerisms... they all spoke of an era long forgotten.
With this said, let me give you a little note on what this book is about. It's about the impossible love between an Amish boy (Noah) and an English (where English encompasses anyone who isn't Amish) girl (Rose). Lots of conflicts, rules and circumstances stand between those two, and they aren't sure where whether their love would be enough to overcome them. This first installment of the trilogy is full of hot and passionate romance, of heartbreak and hope.
I think I should say that I understand the Amish point of view though. The desire to live simple lives rebuking all temptation, and staying away from the outside world isn't foreign to me. I've wondered about the benefits of such life not once. But even with all the corruption out there, some technologies have become a necessity to our households.
So let's talk characters now:
*Rose - she's the most sensitive person I've ever encountered in a book. Until she met Noah she appeared to be calm and composed even after her mother's death and the move to a new place. But then she met Noah and all those problems began and she always seemed to be crying over this or that. Truly, I understand what it means to be sensitive and emotional - I can describe myself as such - but Rose was totally overdoing it. It was truly irritating from one point onward. I swear I rolled my eyes not once as her tears rolled down.
*Noah - I think that guy was the most honest guy I've ever read about. I kept on thinking that he'd lie or something, but he didn't. It felt bizarre and weird and also very nice, knowing that the guy you love wouldn't ever lie to you. What surprised me most about Noah was that he had never even considered living outside his Amish community, or finding a girl from among the English, and here he was, falling head over heels for Rose. And the passion he showed for her... perhaps the restraint came to be too much when one loosened? I dunno, it was just weird. I definitely liked him though, and I think that if it depended on him, he wouldn't really want Rose to give up on all parts of her life for him.
*Rose's father - in the beginning and the end he acted like he very much cared about Rose and his two sons. But in the middle pages, he was all absorbed with his new girlfriend..... That's just wrong. He didn't figure out there was anything going on between Rose and Noah until it was too late. And then he couldn't stop it. Not that I think he should've stopped it, but he could've worked out a better compromise or something.
*Sam, Rose's older brother, seemed to be stuck playing the father's role. Not that he was any good at it with his non-stop partying and girl-hunting. I understand that he tried, but when it was most crucial, he wasn't there.
So, in conclusion, I'd recommend this novel to any reader obsessed with YA contemporary fiction. The romance was sweet and at times bright hot. What more is there to know?